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Good morning baseball fans!
After being hit in the face with a pitch, the Pirates have officially placed pitcher Ryan Vogelsong on the disabled list with facial fractures.
Red Sox reliever Carson Smith will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the 2016 season, along with most of the 2017 campaign.
With Lucas Duda on the shelf for the foreseeable future, the Mets are in need of help at first base. One of the options at this stage appears to be Padres' first baseman James Loney.
Feeling down Mets fans? Well fear not, as there is still some good news. Your superhero ace, Noah Syndergaard, is really good. And he's an elite contact pitcher too.
I think that, from the first time we all saw Noah Syndergaard pitch, we understood that he had the stuff to be an elite strikeout pitcher. What he’s become is far greater than that. We originally knew him for the fastball, which has since been swapped with an even-better sinker and now simply mingles with one of the deepest repertoires in the game. He’s combining strikeouts and grounders at a Kershaw-ian level, and gives batters a false sense of hope when they’re lucky enough to get it in the air. You hear about “throwers becoming pitchers.” Well, Syndergaard skipped that step and went straight to a freak. There truly isn’t a flaw to be found. He’s the quarterback, the lead in the school play, and the president of the math club all at once. With great hair.
The Twins need to start with a clean slate, says our own Mike Bates.
Here is a roundup of the latest news from the American League Central.
There has been a change atop Keith Law's prospect rankings, with Nationals starter Lucas Giolito now having that top spot.
In his new home, Jeff Samardzija is re-establishing himself with the Giants.
This return to form, although not necessarily a "resurrection", is taking place across the board. He hasn't experienced any sort of real velocity change, but the fact that he's able to utilize all of his pitches is allowing those strikeout numbers to creep back up. After a 6.86 K/9 season last year, he's currently at 7.69 in 2016, with a swinging strike rate up a touch (9.8 to 10.4) from last year. His walks are also down, at 1.82 per nine thus far. The rest of his statistics across the board feature a 2.66 ERA, a 2.77 FIP, and a WHIP down at 1.03. Not only are these numbers vastly improved from last year, but these are some of the best figures that Shark has posted in his career. As a veteran pitcher,, and having spent a previous year in baseball purgatory, Samardzija appears to have the look of a guy who knows exactly what works for him and what doesn't and the Giants are allowing him to roll with it.
What might seem like a simple, and perhaps even obvious, change for him has led him down the path to not only earning that $90 million contract, but perhaps even justifying it as a bargain at some point.
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Today in Baseball History: In 1975, Dennis Eckersley makes his first major league start, a three-hit shutout against Oakland.